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In some ways, The Intercontinental at the O2 should come on prescription. It’s got it all: healing powers, grumpy receptionists and pharmaceutically-priced options. Overall, I keep coming back. 

The intercontinental O2 spa

The rigmarole goes something like this. Book a massage (because you neeeeeed it – something about grey January days), add a spa pass (already a high bill is accumulating); sit in the spa thinking, the cocktail bar here is amazing, why waste my bus/Uber journey here without getting at least one drink. Then sit in the cocktail bar thinking hmm… gonna get really grumpy if I imbibe this cocktail without food and the bar menu here is really greasy. 

It should be noted at this point that the bar is very generous with its bar snacks. They keep coming. They are probably very bad for you even though you might have convinced yourself that you will successfully diet this week. Stop the bar snacks, please stop the bar snacks…

So you end up in the Market Brasserie. I don’t know about you, but Market Brasserie surely doesn’t say what it’s supposed to say to me. it sounds brash. And I like markets. It’s ‘lively’ according to the website. Not really sure what that’s referring to, though. This is where the disappointments of the Intercontinental really lie. Every other element of the visit is really enjoyable, but slightly less unhealthy food than the sliders and chips upstairs and the promise of at least one of your five a day, seem to make it a necessity. 

We didn’t order too much. No starters, and little to drink (because of, ahem, our upstairs visit to the cocktail bar), this included £6 for a tiny pot of slightly dressed shredded cabbage. I went just for prawns – that tasted of prawns, and my husband had the poussin. That was also okay.

Desserts were slightly more exciting. This combination of chocolate mouse was as pretty tasting as it looked. 

Dessert at the Intercontinental O2

Let me underline, there was nothing wrong with this meal, but it did (that’s 2 unexciting  mains, 2 drinks and dessert) came to c. £100. You’re paying for the view. Basically. 

‘Spot the blogger’ (but mostly check out the view of the Thames and Canary Wharf)

All this should not be read to mean that Sky Bar and its intricately constructed cocktails are not amazing, pricey but worth it if you hit a flavour you like. The menu changes regularly although we have had occasional frustrations where a few hours studying the menu, running scenario analysis and mathematically chosing a cocktail failed because on request a major ingredient was missing.

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